Seeking inspiration for this month’s rose-flavoured recipe, we look direction East. There, in the culinary traditions of the Orient, is probably the biggest pool of rose-scented recipes to be found. And that’s no surprise, as the roots of our beloved Bulgarian rose are to be found in ancient Persia (rosa damascena – the rose from Damask). Starting there, the rose journey in national cook books goes to India, Iran, Egypt, Turkey, then continues West and today spreads its floral flavour and aroma all around the world.
And so, the recipe we’ve chosen today is muhalabieh, a milk pudding that immediately reminded us of the Italian panna cotta. You can easily spot the similarities and differences with a quick view at our white chocolate panna cotta with roses here. But now, back to muhalabieh.
We find this Oriental milk pudding is so perfect in its simplicity that it’s impressive. It’s impressive also in the way it makes stand out the rose water flavour in a dessert which is so simple, yet not boring at all. We would enjoy it on different occasions literally all year round but as this weekend we are celebrating Easter in Bulgaria and in all orthodox countries, we see it as a fine, floral and a bit unexpected dessert idea in the festive menu. Here it is for you to enjoy.
ORIENTAL MILK PUDDING (MUHALABIEH)
600 ml full-fat milk
100 g sugar
4 tablespoons corn starch (or tapioca starch)
4 tablespoons rose water Rosey’s mark
Baked salted almonds
dried rose blossom Rosey’s mark
- Put the milk in a sauce pan together with the starch and the sugar.
- Bring to boil, stirring continuously using wire stirrer.
- When it’s starting to thicken, remove from heat and add the rose water. Then pour in 4 metal pudding cups.
- Let cool at room temperature, then leave in fridge for at least 4 hours.
- Serve on a plate by turning over to take out from the pudding cups and top with the sliced almonds and dried rose petals.